Chapter 6 ~ Trapped
Pierce was like sunshine, everything about him had me addicted, he consumed my entire being but he was the good kind of addiction, which was new for me. The addiction I should have had from the beginning but instead chose the wrong guy, on the wrong side of the popularity chart.
I remember that day in high school as I stood beside his locker. I had finally decided I was going to tell Pierce I liked him and wanted to hang out, but instead, our talk was interrupted by Mac, King of the douche bags. He punched Pierce in the arm and then threw me over his shoulder like the Neanderthal he is. I remember Pierce’s face as I was carried away, I also remember the faces of the girls wishing it was them he was whisking away. Instantly, I became the popular girl in school, everyone wanted to be me, know me, follow me, and that kind of attention was enticing.
Mac claimed me as his and like a stupid idiot, I just followed. Boy was Ivy rife with jealousy, but she was my best friend and most of the time, I overlooked her faults. So she rode the coattails of my popularity train. The memory was bittersweet as I sat in Pierce’s truck, still drying from the swim at the abandoned Quarry.
“Yep, just thinking about school.”
“Ah, well, there’s a reason those days are behind us.” His statement had me fall into my thoughts again, damn him.
I wanted to go back, sometimes I even caught myself thinking of all the things I would do differently. Before I would just have a cone, quick toke of something or pop a pill and I would forget everything from my past, everything I was thinking about that caused me to feel and disappear into a euphoric high. I disappointedly cover my face with my hands and cringed.
All the things I would change, so much I would do differently.
“If you could change one thing from high school, what would your one thing be?”
“I get just one?” He feigned disappointment. “Nah, ah... I don’t know, not standing up to Mac?”
“You don’t sound sure?” I pushed.
“It was seven years ago Lyera, what do you want me to say?”
“The truth Pierce, what is the one thing?”
“Well, what’s your one thing?” He was causing me to pout now.
“I asked you first,” I stated.
I swear he said me? “Me?”
“Because I watched, okay. I watched your light die, I saw the recluse you became. The no smiling was the worst but I saw you alone, in the end, all alone, all the time. I should have befriended you, I should have been there for you, reached out to you.” My eyes welled with tears and I blinked, desperately trying to hold it all back. My head was stationed forward but my eyes wandered his profile curiously from the corner.
But I had no reply for him. When we pulled up to my house, he went to get out of the car but I had already beat him to it and was heading to the front door. “Lyera, what’s wrong? Lyera!” He called out from the car - but I couldn’t. I walked into the house and up to my room.
I couldn’t help the way I felt, why does he have to be so wonderful? Treat me as if I’m human? All these years I thought no one saw what they did, what they ALL did, how much I hurt inside. I may not have been in love with Mac in the beginning but he was gorgeous and at the start of our relationship, I was treated like a princess, so by the end, I had grown to love him.
What him and Ivy done was shit but that wasn’t really what sent me off the rails and hurtling out of town and towards the city. It is clear that everyone thought it was that. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad about the assumption?
I needed something?
I couldn’t get anything, nothing. I knew no one in this town with access to it.
There was one choice... Toni - and he owed me big.
Grabbing my phone out of natural response, I went to pull up his number but then I slumped to the floor, rocking back and forth, my thumb hovering over the number pad while I gnawed nervously at my nails. He was not what I needed really. I threw the phone across the room angrily, first sign of too much emotion and I crumble? Is this really what you want to do?
I laid down on the carpeted floor, rocking and shaking - the memories and feelings from my past consuming my brain with all the images and words. It needed to be silenced, it was too much for me, too much hurt, too much pain, too many lies.
I stood, walking over to the bed, talking to myself about how I had control over this, I didn’t need anything, that I was safe and couldn’t be hurt any more but I am weak, lack the ability to contain anything. I am a poor excuse and as I collected my phone again, tapping my foot against the floor, I caved and dialled his number, ringing four times before he answered.
...Ava?... he croaked out.
“Hey, I need something.”
...Come round baby, where are you?...
“Over seven hour’s drive away.”
...Oh shit, is that where you’ve been taken?...
“Yes, where were you? You know what don’t answer that - I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
...I’ve missed you, baby, I’m-I’m s...
I hung up before I could reply to him or he could finish his pathetic apology. I hadn’t missed him, his sole purpose to me was the gear and I needed what he could supply. I rushed downstairs, grabbing mums keys from the hook and jumped into her truck. I could hear her calling out to me, I could hear every word but I couldn’t focus. I had to get to Toni. Nothing else mattered but getting what I needed.
I needed to fly, I needed to feel that rush of pure love as it cashed in euphoric ecstasy waves over my body, I needed to silence the voices and calm the blazing inferno, ripping apart my head like a lurking monster. I needed to be free from the clutches of memories. From the returning images that forced their way into my closed off mind.
I stopped at a petrol station two towns over, I was into about three hours of my trip when I happen to look in the wrong... or right, depending on how you look at it? Direction, at the sickening situation unfolding in front of my eyes.
The nozzle was pumping petrol into mum’s tank as a prostitute was on her knees giving a blow job, I couldn’t look away, and apparently, I was not the only one. He came in her mouth, remnants of his deposit leaking from the side of her lips but then he called her a ‘dirty whore’ and threw money at her, hitting her in the face.
Her arms were covered, oozing puss and sore looking scabs, while her face looked weathered, the kind of face that had done a whole lot of terrible decision making in its life, searching for an artificial high. She looked, to the bone sad and as she scurried back into the corner, she picked up a filthy needle off the ground, kicking off her severely worn shoe - she stabbed the needle into the webbing of her toes.
I hung up the nozzle and went into the station to pay, barely holding myself together knowing, I had just watched my future play out in front of the public toilet. Standing in line, I hear the attendant talking with another customer about how they had ‘called the cops on the junkie bitch’ and that the cops would be there to remove ‘it’ soon, said like she was no longer human or anyone worth giving respect too.
I couldn’t take it. After throwing the cash for the fuel at the attendee, I stepped outside and called the one person who didn’t give a shit that I had almost overdosed and treated me normally... Kae.
...Where the fuck, are you?... He growled angrily.
I burst into tears, I didn’t want that woman’s future, but that’s exactly where I was heading - straight to fuck someone for a high, to get me through to the next moment I fucked him for more.
...Why are you crying? What’s happened Avaleria? Tell me where you are?... He growled again, demanding I open my damn mouth and answer his questions.
“I made a mistake Kaeron, I made a mistake,” I repeated through sputters and tears.
...It’s okay Lyera, just tell me where you are? Did you - take anything?...
“No, but I was going too.”
...It’s okay. I just need to know where you are?...
“Dawsville, Kae, at a petrol station in Dawsville.”
I heard him breathe a sigh of relief before a strangled sob ripped from my throat, just as the cops alarm blared in the background.
...Why are the cops there? Look, I’m on my way, DO NOT MOVE AVALERIA, I’m coming, I’m coming...
His tone concerned, scared and panicked, anyone would have thought he was the eldest out of us two.
I sobbed into the receiver before hanging up, moving the car to the garage parking bay and away from the pump, I slid down onto the truck seat and burst into tears. Shame and self-pity consuming my soul, I had tried to get high and the awful lie I had been feeding myself, reared its hideous addictive head. I was not in control.
I hadn’t realised I had fallen asleep until I hit a pothole... a pothole? Wait a minute? I was never driving. I bolt upright, my eyes the size of the Atlantic. The car swerved but then he corrected it, when in god’s name did he get here?
“Holy shit, don’t do that,” he cursed.
“Holy shit, when did you get here?” I spat back, in just as much surprise.
“Why the hell were you passed out with the fucken doors unlocked?”
“I didn’t know I had passed out, that wasn’t exactly the plan.”
“What was your plan? Drive across the other side of the country because I said something that set you off?” He was angry.
“Fuck Pierce, it wasn’t you. I mean okay, yes it was something you said but none of this is you.”
“Then tell me, what did I say that upset you so? And why the bloody hell was everyone so god damn panicked when you were missing? Family doesn’t act like that unless you give them reason too.”
I relaxed into the chair, removing my sneakers and putting my hair up into a messy bun, staring in a lost haze through the front windscreen. How do you let go of a secret you held so close to your heart, for so long?
Minutes seemed to stretch on for hours as he waited patiently for my explanation, but I could not explain it all, at least not yet. “Out of everyone at that stupid school, you were the only one I wanted to notice me. I wanted your attention, you - you are the one thing I would change.”
“Why didn’t you just tell me? I’ve spent the better part of the evening and night going round and round inside my head, about what I had said to upset you so much? Caused you to run away from everyone who loves you.”
“I didn’t know how... What should I have said?”
“You say... Pierce, you are the one thing I would have changed, I would have forced you to be my... friend...”
“It’s so easy for you...”
“You’re having trouble because there’s more than just simple friendship here. Lyera, I... care... about you, I always have.” I was thrown, shocked by the last few words as I fidgeted nervously, “why were you running?”
“I wasn’t running, I promise, I wasn’t running.”
“Then what were you doing? Where were you going?” My brow furrowed in pain as the tears welled in my captivating greens.
“Somewhere I should never have been heading,” he took a massive breath in as if preparing himself.
“I saw a pic once, on your page. In the background, it had lines on a mirror, is that where you were heading?” I looked up at him horrified and gasped, the tears spilling over. I had nothing left inside, he knew one of my secrets but I didn’t want to end up like that woman, I pulled my knees to my chest and dropped my head in my hands that rested there. “Lyera?” His voice filtered through, giving me some strength, some hope, that he would not ridicule me for my pathetic mistake.
All I could do was nod. The amount of shame that washed over me, hurt more than remembering. I felt weak and useless - would he want to be my friend or more now?